Katherine Heigl has opened up about her struggle to return to work after becoming a mother, confessing she almost quit Hollywood to bring up her daughter full-time.
The Knocked Up star, who adopted little Naleigh with her singer husband Josh Kelley three years ago, has signed up to write about her experiences of motherhood for an iVillage.com blog and in her first post, Heigl reveals she wrestled with her decision to head back to the movie set when the tot was younger.
She writes, "I knew, of course, as I prepared to welcome my daughter into my life that it would be a bit of a juggling act but I had no doubt that I could do it. After all, it's 2012 and women have been told that we can have it all if we want it. I went into it full throttle, ready to buckle down and make it all work seamlessly as I always imagined I could. The thing is I couldn't.
"No matter how great my intentions, how lofty my goals, how passionate my commitment, I was failing. I was failing my work, I was failing my daughter, I was failing my husband. I was stressed out and exhausted... I couldn't help but wonder what I had gotten myself into and if the choice I made to be a working mother was the most selfish decision of my life."
Heigl spent months fearing she would have to turn her back on Hollywood, and started to scale back on work commitments so she could stay at home with her baby daughter - but she felt unfulfilled.
She adds, "I asked myself what was wrong with me. How can I want to leave my child to go back to work? How can I miss all those important little moments with her to do nothing more significant then make a movie? I mean, at least if I were a renowned scientist working on solving world hunger I might have an excuse. The simple truth is that I love my daughter passionately and as most mothers do, I think she is the smartest, funniest, prettiest child in the whole world - but she cannot fulfill everything in me.
"I needed to put this gift I've been given to perform back to use. Having it all meant that every time I take a job, my heart will break a little when I come home too late for bed time, when I miss something funny or clever or charming she has said...
"Now, when I take a job, I look my daughter in the eye... and try to explain to her that Mommy has to go to work. And when she looks back at me and says, 'But why?', I tell her the truth: that work makes me a better person, a better woman, a better mother. Then I pray to God that she will understand one day and that my example will encourage her to find and follow her bliss as well."